The traditional idea of retirement paints a picture of older adults gathered around a table lackadaisically assembling puzzles or playing cards. It’s assumed retirees catch the early bird special and go to sleep when it’s still light outside. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with any of these habits—who doesn’t love a good puzzle?—today’s boomers are busy reinventing the traditional idea of retirement by maintaining active lifestyles.
One big reason for this change is an increase in the average lifespan. Aging adults are now living well beyond the age of retirement, with the average life expectancy well into the 80s. In fact, over the next 35 years, the National Institute on Aging estimates the 85 and older population will increase by more than 350 percent. Retirements are getting longer and boomers are finding themselves with a lot of living left to do after their working years.
5 Ways Maturing Boomers are Reinventing Retirement
- They’re Getting Part-Time Jobs: Even though they’re retiring from their careers, boomers aren’t necessarily ceasing to work entirely. Many are enjoying part-time jobs in a different field or seeking out volunteer opportunities to fill their days. These options give them the chance to give back to the community, while still enjoying the mental stimulation and socialization of a workday.
- They’re Staying Active: Rather than using retirement as an excuse to slow down, many boomers are picking up the pace with their activity. They’re using their time in retirement to do the things they’ve always planned on doing—exercising, traveling, and seeking out adventures.
- They’re On the Move: In addition to staying active within their communities, boomers are also staying active on the road. They’re spending their retirement traveling and seeing the world, rather than settling into a quiet routine.
- …But They’re Also Staying Put: It used to be common for retirees to move down to places like the Sunbelt to enjoy their retirement. However, today’s retirees are more likely to stay in their own communities, rather than seeking out warmer climates.
- They’re Learning New Things: Boomers are keeping their minds sharp by picking up new skills and learning new hobbies throughout their retirement. Whether it’s taking a class or learning a new trade, retirement is now being used as a reason to experiment.
By reinventing the traditional retirement, maturing boomers are proving that stepping away from the working world doesn’t mean stepping away from an active lifestyle. In reality, it can mean quite the opposite. With more time on their hands, boomers are getting to explore the activities they’ve always wanted to experience.
Tell us how you’re reinventing your retirement years in the comments below!